The Ideal Salesperson

Meatloaf once sang a song with the lyrics, “I want you. I need you. But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. But don’t be sad, cause two out of three ain’t bad.”

Finding a successful salesperson is part luck, part timing, and part knowing what you’re looking for. You can’t have perfect. You won’t find perfect. You want the right personality, the right level of experience, and, perhaps, the right level of technical skills. If that’s the case, get used to hearing Meatloaf’s song in your head as you go through the hiring process.

So, what should you be looking for in your search for the ideal candidate?

A blog is typically 250 to 300 words. PIworld has strict guidelines, but according to my contract, “A blog where Meatloaf is quoted can exceed that limit if for no other reason than to explain why Meatloaf was quoted.”

So, to keep this short, I will give you one characteristic and one sales skill to look for.

A characteristic is a personality trait. You either have it or you don’t. Can it be taught? Yes, but more often than not, baby, you were born that way. The one characteristic I would choose, then, is drive. In other words—diligence, persistency, sticktoitiveness. It is the single most important factor in your sales success, bar none. Don’t leave home without it.

As for the one sales skill—that is, something that can be taught—I’m going to go with the ability to do pre-call research on a prospect and come up with a valuable and powerful statement to make when attempting to gain an appointment. This one you can acquire. And should.

If I get a third choice, I’m going to go with superior communication skills. That is, outstanding writing and speaking abilities.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
Related Content
  • Tapecon Buffalo Rochester

    Great article Bill!!

  • Shirley A Burns

    Yeah, but the big question is will the salesperson love ya ’til the end of time? (you know, the follow up after the sale, your usual whipping boy).

  • MPG

    All good stuff Bill. You remain on the "bleeding" edge of the industry!
    I recommend a local Toastmasters Club to gain the writing, listening and speaking skills you mention. I’ve been in one here in Seattle since 1997 and that training has helped me sell millions of dollars of printing. Buyers respect sales people that can communicate clearly, effectively AND persuasively.
    Marc George/CGX Seattle